With childhood obesity still a major national problem, keeping our children active feels more important than ever before. I am lucky that my two, particularly my son, are naturally active and energetic but I do still nurture and facilitate their love of activity by giving them opportunities to play outdoors. Every day after school they are either playing in the park (football, climbing trees, racing around) or they are at a club (dance, football, basketball, rounders, swimming, gymnastics…). Either way, I ensure that they get at least an hour of exercise every single day.
Admittedly, it is more difficult in the winter months, though we do still get outside as often as possible. If it is very wet or very cold, we are a bit more stuck and it really shows in my children’s behaviour, particularly if they have endured wet play at school too. Sadly, there are only so many times you can go swimming or to soft play before it either gets boring or too expensive! At times like this, I rely on music to get the kids bouncing around, burning off energy and keeping fit; Sonny also likes to play football indoors – any excuse really!
As much as it can be difficult to keep our children active all year round, it is so important and we really owe it to them. Childhood obesity is a real concern and often leads to adult obesity as well as more short-term problems including low self-esteem. Of course, diet also plays a part and protecting our children from consuming too much sugar is a huge factor too. Either way, I strongly feel that it is our responsibility, as parents and carers, to keep our children active and happy. I have seen an increasing number of articles online where parents are trying to claim that their child’s obesity is down to medical negligence and I have to say I never agree. Sadly, obesity in children is more likely to be as a result of parental negligence than anything else (though negligence is a strong word; misinformation, or ignorance would perhaps be better).
This summer, start as you mean to go on, with a whole host of active fun, and rake in the savings too as outdoor activities can often be free. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Walks in the woods
- Swimming in the sea
- Walking up a big hill (and rolling back down!)
- Going on a bike ride
- Rowing a boat around a lake
- Mini or adventure golf
- Parks and playgrounds
- Flying kites
- Swimming in a pool or lido
- Scooting/skating at a skate park
Have a great summer 🙂